Jacob & Co. $1 Million Astronomia Flawless in Transparent Sapphire Case – Last year marked the start of the great unveiling in Geneva of new timepieces for 2017. In addition to the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) exhibition sa host of top brands showcased their newest creations in a variety of locations around the city. Jacob & Co., for instance, had their debut of its newest Astronomia Flawless watch. Based on the well-known Astronomia Gravitational Triple Axis Tourbillon watch with sun, moon and Earth globes, the newest piece is fully updated with a sapphire case for transparent viewing from all sides of the complicated movement.
Valued at $1 million, the watch made its official debut last year.
The name “flawless” is a play off of a term in the diamond world, wherein flawless refers to the highest grade of diamond clarity. In fact, the Astronomia Flawless features a monobloc sapphire case that consists of the case (case band and lugs as a solid piece), a dome and a caseback. Additionally the watch boasts a sapphire barrel bridge in the movement, a blue sapphire dial and a sapphire buckle on the blue strap.
According to Jacob Arabo, Founder and CEO of Jacob & Co., the goal in this version was to offer full view of the movement. The original case of this watch had metal edges and sides, while the new case is a monobloc of totally transparent sapphire. This is an extremely difficult thing to achieve, as evidenced by the fact that to date, there are fewer than a handful of watch brands that have been able to release fully transparent sapphire cases.
In fact, it takes about 37 weeks just to produce the sapphire components. The process from start to finish of the dome alone includes nine steps, ranging from cutting of the raw material, to grinding, working it on a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine, polishing, fine polishing, an ultrasound wave cleaning and an antireflective treatment – all of which takes nearly 300 hours to accomplish for each dome.
The making of the case requires an additional six steps and takes a total of 326 hours to complete each one. Another near 300 hours of cutting, polishing, chamfering and brushing to finish the sapphire base is required. Within each watch, there is a tiny sapphire disk that represents the dial, and takes 280 hours to complete, with a similar amount of time going into the making of the sapphire strap buckle. As such, more than 40 steps totaling more than 1300 hours go into the making of a single timepiece – not withstanding the building of the movement.
The complicated manually wound movement – JCAM16 caliber with triple axis tourbillon — has also been revisited. This new piece features two spherical 288-facet diamond spheres. One is a 1 carat Jacob Cut® diamond on one end of a satellite that acts as the sun and sits opposite an 18-karat rose gold and enamel Earth globe. Between the two spheres, and raised out of the center axis of the movement, is the second diamond sphere – a 2.23-carat Jacob Cut® multi-faceted yellow diamond.
The movement boasts a rose-gold finish on the titanium bridges and, as mentioned above, the small dial is no longer metal, but is, instead a blued sapphire. Just nine individually numbered pieces will ever be made.
Roberta Naas is founder of A Timely Perspective; and author of six books on watches.
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